Did You Know?

Posted on 07 May 2016 by

Did you know Lafayette Hall was once a shopping mall?

A former shopping mall escalator inside Lafayette Hall. Photo by Eleanor C. Winkel from the Presidents Archive of Housatonic Community College.

A former shopping mall escalator inside Lafayette Hall. Photo by Eleanor C. Winkel from the Presidents Archive of Housatonic Community College.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glass elevator inside old shopping mall of Lafayette Hall. Photo by Eleanor C. Winkel from the Presidents Archive of Housatonic Community College.

Glass elevator inside old shopping mall of Lafayette Hall. Photo by Eleanor C. Winkel from the Presidents Archive of Housatonic Community College.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mall had escalators and a glass elevator, both ripped out at the time of construction. The second floor balcony and the parking garage also remain the same.

Mayor Joseph P. Ganim attended the groundbreaking ceremony in 1995, just as he did a few months ago for the newest addition to Lafayette.

1995 Groundbreaking Ceremony for Lafayette Hall. Photo by Eleanor C. Winkel from the Presidents Archive of Housatonic Community College.

1995 Groundbreaking Ceremony for Lafayette Hall. Photo by Eleanor C. Winkel from the Presidents Archive of Housatonic Community College.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 Groundbreaking ceremony for Lafayette Hall expansion. Photo by Eric Vasquez.

2016 Groundbreaking ceremony for Lafayette Hall expansion. Photo by Eric Vasquez.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It may also come as a surprise to learn Beacon Hall is a former Sears Department Store. Almost twelve years after the mall takeover, HCC became a two-building campus. This time, the interior of the new building was entirely gutted.

Connecting Lafayette and Beacon’s history to modern day gives context to the upcoming improvements at Lafayette Hall. It’s been almost another decade since the campus has grown.

Between the two buildings, you may have noticed another bit of trivia, the placement of two  white pillar structures. It is an outdoor sculpture garden, created shortly after the shopping mall conversion by the HCC Museum of Art.

HCC courtyard artwork. Photo by author.

HCC courtyard artwork. Photo by author.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artists Alexander Liberman, Lila Katzen, Elyn Zimmerman and others have contributed their works.

The museum itself was installed at the same time the shopping mall was converted. Named for its founder, The Burt Chernow Gallery opened with an exhibit of 20th Century Art.

In 2001 Ansel Adams Classic Images was exhibited, with many of the photographs on public display for the first time. More than 8,000 visitors came to view the exhibit.